By Alexandra Burlacu email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Jan 15, 2013 03:01 PM EST
The wait is (nearly) over as the Archos GamePad, an Android-based gaming tablet, will finally hit U.S. shores next month, launching with a $169 price tag.
The Archos GamePad is a 7-inch Android gaming tablet, sporting built-in buttons and joysticks. The gadget aims to make video games easier to play without taking up screen real estate by forcing users to place their thumbs on a touchscreen.
Archos had already launched its GamePad in Europe, leaving stateside gamers eagerly awaiting for the gadget. The device has seen huge demand worldwide, prompting Archos to ramp up mass production to meet expectations. At this year's International CES, which took place last week, the company showed off the GamePad and promised to launch it in the U.S. within the next few weeks.
What's so special about the Archos GamePad? Well, while most Android games nowadays are designed for the ubiquitous touchscreen displays, the Archos gaming tablet provides a button-mapping tool that allows users to move the action to the sides of the screen rather than taking up valuable screen real estate. The GamePad's buttons can also prove to be very useful when running emulators to play classic PlayStation, Nintendo, or other games.
The new Archos GamePad packs a 1.6GHz Rockchip RK3066 dual-core processor under the hood, supported by Mali 400 graphics. The gaming tablet sports a 7-inch capacitive touch screen with a resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels and support for five-point multi-touch input. The gadget also has 8GB of storage and runs on Google's latest Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system. It weighs just 0.7 pounds and sports 14 physical buttons, including dual analog thumb sticks.
An increasing number of mobile users want to play games on their devices, and the GamePad's main attraction is that Archos has built the gadget into a dedicated gaming pad, complete with all the usual triggers, controls, and bumpers. The GamePad is not the only gaming tablet currently available on the market, but with a $169 price tag it poses some serious competition to the $499 Wikipad for instance. The gadget has already proved very popular among Android gamers, and the U.S. availability will only add to its great success.